Dalyan is a serene holiday town on Turkey's southwest coast. It offers a fantastic blend of quiet-seaside and adventure.
Surrounded by natural beauty, Dalyan is a hidden gem for those seeking a peaceful beach holiday in the Mugla region.
Whether you're looking for a family summer holiday, or a romantic getaway in the Mediterranean, Dalyan definitely has something for you.
In this guide, we'll be delving into the best things to do in Dalyan, so that when you get here, the only thing you'll worry about will be to cross out every activity on the list.
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1. Take a 4x4 Jeep Safari to Iztuzu
People travel halfway around the world to Dalyan to take part in a 4x4 Jeep safari to Iztuzu Beach. This beautiful beach offers great swimming, a place to have lunch, and even a spot for trout fishing.
While it is possible to reach Iztuzu Beach by foot, taking a Jeep safari is the best way to make the most of your time. It saves you from a long, hour-long walk and allows you to enjoy the scenic journey at the same time.
Safari lovers flock here every summer to soar through the fantastic open land and experience the history of this fantastic Mediterranean village.
2. Cruise Around the Dalyan Delta
The Dalyan delta is a one of a kind area of water, mud flats, and reeds that is home to hundreds of bird species.
Hiring a boat for the day and exploring the delta is an absolute must-do in Dalyan. The boat ride allows you to soak in the stunning natural surroundings while truly immersing yourself in the peaceful atmosphere. Swimming in the delta is a delight, as there are no strong currents to worry about, allowing you to relax and enjoy the warm, clear waters.
It's important to note that the Dalyan Delta is a protected area, and boats are not allowed to enter without permission from the authorities. This ensures the preservation of the delicate ecosystem and allows visitors to appreciate the natural beauty without causing harm. So, if planning a trip soon, it might be good to make sure you book from a licenced excursion agent.
Saklikent Gorge is a massive favorite among holidayers visiting Dalyan. Check out our guide to Saklikent Gorge to learn more!
3. Kayak Through the Famous Dalyan Canyons
For a bit of adventure and sightseeing, kayaking through the famous Dalyan canyons is a thrilling experience. As you navigate the canyons, you'll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery and have the chance to observe the diverse wildlife, including herons and egrets.
These majestic birds can be seen popping their heads up in the reed beds along the water's edge, and you can even get close enough to marvel at their beauty. The calm waters and open landscape make kayaking an excellent way to explore Dalyan visually and enjoy the nature.
4. Explore the Ghost Town of Kaunos
History enthusiasts find themselves travelling to the ancient city of Kaunos year after year.
Walk around near the remnants of a two-century-old settlement and explore the ancient city of Kaunos, a ghost town overlooking the lake. This remarkable city was founded by Greek colonists from Phocaea around 650 BC and has a rich history.
Over two thousand years ago, ancient Phoaceans lived and fought in the very same bit of soil that you're standing on. Doesn't sound too bad right?
The city changed names multiple times throughout its existence, including Telmessos, Makaranda, and Kydonia. The temple of Zeus, perched on top of an acropolis, offers a spectacular view of Lake Kuçuk Kaynarca. The Lycian tombs carved into limestone cliffs are a testament to the grandeur of this ancient city.
5. Visit the Mud Baths at Sulungur Lake
If feeling a bit hungover, why not indulge in a rejuvenating and detoxifying experience by taking a mud bath at Sulungur Lake?
The ancient ritual of covering yourself in mud is believed to draw out toxins from the skin and provide relief to tired muscles.
To reach Sulungur Lake, you can take a boat from Dalyan Beach Club or rent a kayak from one of the rental shops in the area. You can also catch a ferry that runs between Dalyan Beach Club and Öludeniz during the summer seasons. Embrace the healing power of the mud and allow yourself to unwind in this natural oasis.
6. Sunbathe on Iztuzu Beach and Spot Loggerhead Turtles
Iztuzu Beach, or Turtle Beach, is a must-visit coastline in Dalyan. It stretches for six kilometers and offers wonderful scenery with its sandy coast and shady pine trees. The beach is safe for swimming, thanks to the presence of lifeguards during the hottest hours of the day. The water temperature ranges between 20ºC and 29ºC throughout the summer, and creates perfect conditions for a refreshing dip.
Next to its unique beauty, Iztuzu Beach is famous for its loggerhead turtle nests. These turtles lay their eggs on the beach between May and July, making it a crucial nesting ground.
If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures during your visit. Witnessing the turtles in their natural habitat is an awe-inspiring experience that should not be missed.
7. Relax in the Thermal Mud Baths at Sultaniye Hot Springs
Soak up the therapeutic benefits of the thermal mud baths at Sultaniye Hot Springs. These natural hot springs are considered to have healing properties, making them a popular attraction in Dalyan.
The mud baths detoxify the body and relax the mind. The warm mud draws out impurities from the skin, making you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Whether you choose to immerse yourself in the mud or simply soak in the thermal waters, a visit to Sultaniye Hot Springs is a must if ultimate relaxation sounds like something you can get with.
8. Check Out the Views from Ekincik Bay
For breathtaking panoramic views, head to Ekincik Bay, Kargicak Bay, or Aşı Bay.
These stunning bays provide the perfect vantage point to admire the beauty of Dalyan. Take a leisurely swim in the crystal-clear waters of Aşı Bay, Kargicak Bay, or Ekincik Bay, and feel the serenity wash over you.
The picturesque surroundings and tranquil atmosphere make these bays ideal for relaxation and unwinding. Especially, in the evenings, it's truly wonderful.
9. Swim in Yuvarlakçay or Toparlar Waterfall
If feeling a bit tired of the sun, you can get away from the summer heat and cool off by swimming in the refreshing waters of Yuvarlakçay or Toparlar Waterfall. These natural wonders offer a good chance to cool off and boost your metabolism.
Yuvarlakçay Waterfall, located near Dalyan, is preferred widely by swimmers seeking respite from the sun. The cold water is perfect for a refreshing swim, and you can also take a boat tour to explore the area further.
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10. Discover the Tranquility of Sulungur Lake
Escape the hustle and bustle of Dalyan and find a bit of quiet and serenity at Sulungur Lake. Just a short distance from the town center, this peaceful lake offers a calm retreat.
Take an evening stroll along the shores and enjoy the gorgeous views and the calming ambiance. You can also choose to have a picnic at one of the lakeside restaurants or cafes, within the natural beauty of the surroundings.
During the summer, you can even take a boat ride on the lake and observe the local wildlife.
11. Explore the Other Side of the Dalyan River
During the summer, you can rent a small rowing boat and cross the Dalyan River to explore the other side.
This short journey will transport you to a world away from Dalyan town, where you can enjoy a peaceful escape.
In the past, reaching the other side required a lengthy trip around Lake Koyceğiz. However, now you can conveniently take a car ferry if you prefer to bring your vehicle. Once you're on the other side, take a moment to appreciate the stunning views of Dalyan from a different perspective.
12. Head to the Village of Candir
If looking for an off the beaten path village nearby you can immerse yourself in the local culture and learn more about the area at the Village of Candir.
The village's culture house provides valuable insights into the traditions and heritage of Dalyan. Candir is a favorite among holidayers looking for more of a unique Mediterranean experience rather than the destinations that are already popular among holidayers.
Here, you'll have the chance to enjoy the nature in quiet, and take some fantastic holiday photos.
13. Check Out the Sea Turtle Conservation Efforts at DEKAMER
Learn about the important sea turtle conservation efforts at DEKAMER, the Sea Turtle Research & Rehabilitation Centre in Dalyan.
This charity organization is dedicated to the protection and preservation of loggerhead turtles and green turtles.
Visit DEKAMER to see injured turtles being rehabilitated and learn about the challenges these magnificent creatures face. By supporting DEKAMER, you can also contribute to the regional conservation efforts and help ensure a brighter future for these endangered species.
14. Take a Day Trip to Ekincik
The scenic route to Ekincik is full of stunning views, making the journey as enjoyable as the destination.
If you prefer a longer route, you can drive around Lake Koyceğiz to reach Ekincik. Once there, you can relax on the beach, take a swim in the crystal-clear waters, or simply soak up the sun. The tranquil atmosphere and natural beauty of Ekincik make it an ideal spot for a peaceful day out.
Renting a car might be a good idea if you're planning to check out a few different destinations in the region. There are always rental cars available in the city centre.
15. Take a Detour to Koyceğiz and Check Out Its Beautiful Lake
If you're not a fan of markets, a visit to Koyceğiz town is still well worth it. This charming town is situated on the shores of Lake Koyceğiz and offers a leisurely escape from the bustling city life.
Enjoy a delicious lunch by the lake, taking in the breathtaking views. Arriving in the morning allows you to witness the lake at its most serene, with the calm waters reflecting the surrounding landscape. Take a leisurely stroll along the lake promenade and immerse yourself in the laid-back atmosphere of Koyceğiz.
Wrapping Up: Best Things To Do In Dalyan
Dalyan, with its natural beauty and rich history, offers a plethora of experiences for every traveler. From exploring ancient ruins to indulging in rejuvenating mud baths, Dalyan has something to satisfy every interest.
Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or a deeper connection with nature, Dalyan's charm and allure will captivate you. Plan your trip to Dalyan and embark on a journey filled with unforgettable experiences, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it worth visiting Dalyan?
Absolutely. Dalyan is definitely worth visiting. It is a beautiful town with a lot to offer holidayers. There are stunning beaches, unique and beautiful wildlife, fascinating historical ruins, and opportunities for swimming, boating, and hiking.
What day is Dalyan market?
The Dalyan market is held every day. It is a great place to buy souvenirs, fresh produce, and local handicrafts. There are also weekly markets where a wider range of things, like antiques and gems, might also be found.
Can you swim in Dalyan?
Yes, you can swim in Dalyan. The water is clear and warm, and there are many beautiful beaches to choose from. However, it is important to note that the Dalyan River is a breeding ground for sea turtles, so it is important to be respectful of their habitat and avoid swimming in the river during the nesting season.
Does Dalyan have a beach?
Yes, Dalyan has a beach. The most popular beach is Iztuzu Beach, which is a protected area and a nesting ground for sea turtles. There are also several other beaches in Dalyan, including Dalyan Beach and Cirali Beach.
Can you see turtles in Dalyan?
Yes, you can see turtles in Dalyan. The most common turtles in Dalyan are the loggerhead sea turtle and the green sea turtle. These turtles are endangered, so it is important to be respectful of their habitat and avoid disturbing them.